Earlier this week the Daily Mail reported that:

I am not a reader of the Daily Mail.  However the use of the adjective “staggering” is appropriate.

Scottish Government figures confirm that 1 in 4 of the adult Scottish population are now taking antidepressants [it should be noted that not all prescriptions are for the treatment of depression]. Many would describe this as ‘mass prescribing’ and these rates are higher than in the rest of the UK.

Yesterday, in the Scottish Parliament, this question was asked of the First Minister:

The First Minister’s response and further exchanges can be viewed here:

This part of the First Minister’s response was particularly striking as it misrepresented what was being asked: “I cannot be the only one who listened to that question that is really disturbed by the insinuation that antidepressants are not a legitimate treatment for those who require it”. However this response is hardly surprising because it reflects what has been the prevailing attitude of defensiveness of the psychiatric establishment in Scotland. The following guidance has formed the basis of Scottish Government policy:

The aforementioned defensiveness has been particularly marked, and particularly ‘disturbing’ in its reluctance to even consider the possibility that one of the reasons for ever increasing prescribing figures might be physiological dependence on these drugs such that people find them difficult to stop. This has been despite many voices of experience, including the unprecedented number of written testimonies to the following petition: